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If the spacecraft carries a crew, the spacecraft itself must be able to slow down and land safely on the earth.Overcoming gravity is the biggest problem in getting into space.The orbiter continues into space and releases the external tank just before entering orbit.Returning to the earth involves problems opposite to those of getting into space.About an hour after the shuttle’s engines are fired to bring it out of its orbit the spacecraft glides down, using its wings to manoeuvre and lands on a runway.The shuttle touches down at a speed of about 320 kilometers per hour. It circles the earth in space along a path called an orbit.The orbiter’s engines, combined with a solid rocket boosters, provide the thrust to launch the space shuttle.
The gas leaves the rocket engine at high speed through the rocket nozzle.The primary vehicle for research and exploration in the United States space programme is the space shuttle.The space shuttle takes off like a rocket, orbits the earth like a spacecraft, and lands like an aeroplane. The orbiter has three liquid rocket engines near its tail.The spacecraft must lose speed instead of gaining it.The space shuttle orbiter has two smaller engines that are fired to slow down the spacecraft and modify its orbit for the return to earth.